PDA

View Full Version : ROG RAMdisk?



Traceman
08-15-2015, 07:54 PM
I am wanting to give ROG RAMDisk a try on my CVF-Z. Anyone know where I could find a recent download. And, as you can see I am using AMD chipsets and CPU. I am sure that makes no difference. However, if there is a version specific one I would love to have it. Thanks ahead of time!!!!!

Korth
08-15-2015, 11:21 PM
There should be a copy on the disc packaged with the motherboard. The latest version can always be downloaded from the official CVFZ download site (https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/CROSSHAIR_V_FORMULAZ/HelpDesk_Download/). If not available, you can download it from any other Asus ROG motherboard page - this software isn't mobo-specific, it will run on any mobo which uses the secret Asus ROG chip (and, unlike other RAM Disk offerings, it never expires and is limited only by the amount of RAM actually present).

Your WinOS might behave a little sickly if forced to work with less than 8GB.

edrak
10-10-2015, 02:34 AM
Traceman,

The CHVF-Z does not have the ROG chip for RAM Drives. I run a CHVF-Z and have been through all the software offered our board and RAM Disk is not one of the available downloads.

Qwinn
11-13-2015, 06:28 AM
I gave ROG Ramdisk a try and promptly ditched it. The fatal flaw is that it is unsuitable as a location for temp/cache files. You pretty much *have* to tie the Ramdisk to a real location on your drive, and it forces writing all of the data in it to the drive whenever you shut down/reboot. I found no way to avoid that.

This pretty much obviates my purpose in using a Ramdisk, in that I'm looking to keep unnecessary reads and writes off of my SSD, and also provides self-deleting cache and temp folders which appeals to me for privacy reasons. I wound up using Softperfect Ramdisk, which is perfectly suited to the situation I'm describing.

Korth
11-14-2015, 04:00 AM
Again - you can download ROG software from any other ROG support page (even if it's not listed for your particular ROG motherboard), it should install and run on any motherboard with an onboard Asus ROG chip. At worst, it won't install and you'll waste five minutes discovering that ROG RAMDisk isn't compatible with your particular motherboard.

Qwinn -

I understand your concern about having countless temp/cache/swap/scratch/paging transfers on your SSD. Excessive write/rewrite activity accelerates wear and tear on NVFlash, it gradually erodes away SSD performance and longevity.

But on the plus side, you also gain maximum possible performance because all your background OS activities run at very high (SATA3 or PCIe 3.0) SSD speeds, bottlenecks from slower storage devices would be a thing of the past. Your SSD has its own embedded cache - five Micron D9PQL DRAM chips, a total (according to specs) of 1.25GB DDR3-1600 - which absorbs most small data storage/transfer operations before data is ever written into main flash. And it has its own controller chip (an overclocked Intel CH29AE41AB0) which runs some rather advanced wear-levelling and block-control algorithms in firmcode to maximize longevity. Intel 750 PCIe drives are a preferred device in enterprise mass storage servers, they're designed to perform as "Tier 0 storage" - and you can be assured that a single consumer desktop running a single bloated copy of Windows is not going to be anywhere near as demanding on your drive as a randomly accessed Wikipedia storage rack which serves thousands of internet users per minute.

A software RAM disk is unsuitable for use as an OS cache location. ROG RAMDisk can dynamically resize itself to free up memory for the OS. Windows will (in theory) only fill up memory as it needs memory, and it will (in theory) only use virtual memory on a drive when physical memory becomes filled up. So the entire notion of using a RAM disk to extend memory is fundamentally unworkable and counterproductive. Yes, Windows is far from perfect and will stubbornly insist on paging tons of useless junk all the time, but (as of Win7 onwards) it's not as bad as you might expect. You might want to look into physical RAM drives (like an ACARD (http://www.acard.com/english/fb0101.jsp?ino=28)) - but they tend to use older technologies (most are DDR2-based), they can be very costly for consumers to obtain, and they only improve actual cache performance (or paranoid security) in very specific caching niches. Letting Windows "Turbo" a decent disposable USB3 flash drive would be a lot cheaper and just as fast.

Qwinn
11-14-2015, 10:21 AM
"A software RAM disk is unsuitable for use as an OS cache location. "

I disagree. It's useless as a page-file location, and most of your paragraph seems to address page-files, not cache files. But it's great for cache files. And it doesn't matter if my SSD has an internal cache, when you finally go to shut down, that cache will be flushed by ROG Ramdisk and *all* data in the cache folders will be written to disk.

Some people will tell you that putting cache files on a Ramdisk can cause instability because programs out there are still hardcoded as to where they expect the cache files to be. I've had my Ramdisk going as the cache location for 6 months with only 2 issues: 1) Windows Troubleshooter programs don't work with the cache files on the Ramdisk, and 2) Microsoft Edge doesn't allow you to move your cache file directory in the first place. 1) isn't a problem because I've otherwise had no trouble to shoot, and 2) it's hardly the only reason to avoid Edge. I'm still mostly running IE and it's actually working great now, I've had upward of 30 browser tabs open simultaneously, quite stable and *extremely* fast as it caches to memory which is still something like 8x faster than even an Intel 750.

In the event that I *do* need to run Windows Troubleshooters, I have an empty directory structure prepped which is a mirror of my Ramdisk and to which I can redirect all the cache locations in the event of an emergency, takes about 3 minutes. Just haven't needed to yet.

Korth
11-15-2015, 05:21 AM
The internal DRAM cache on SSDs does matter a lot. Simply because so much of the small data moving on and off the drive can easily fit in this cache and is never even needed to be written. It also helps on shutdown because the final cache write will be a few full NV blocks of sequential data instead of a large number of small changes to many random NV data blocks - end result is fewer write/rewrite cycles on precious flash.

Yes, ROG RAMDisk is not perfectly compatible with all system-level apps. No RAM disk software can be. ROG RAMDisk is not the very best product of this type available but it is better than most. My only real complaint about it is that it's implemented at the firmware level but is still dependent on the OS, Asus could have made a far superior RAM disk product if they went with pure firmware layer and some kind of hypervisor BIOS program.

I've used PCIe 2.0 DIMM drives before, most products of this type provide mechanisms which preserve the contents of volatile memory in the event of sudden power failure, my employers specifically wanted sensitive data cryptocached in volatile memory as an overkill security measure. I found that using these devices as cache/swap/page/VM drives on Windows (and linux) systems did indeed improve performance a little (or more correctly, it didn't bottleneck performance as much) only in unusually focussed circumstances - basically they beef up very specific benchmark scores but don't have enough real impact to justify their cost. And I discovered that a cheap disposable 16GB USB3.0 SuperSpeed flash drive (mounted on an internal USB3 header) provided almost identical results - which suggests to me that the real cache-performance bottlenecks are not caused by the cache hardware as much as it is caused by consumer chipsets on consumer motherboards.

Qwinn
11-16-2015, 02:49 AM
*nod* I don't disagree with anything there. I don't use a ramdisk for performance, though, just to keep writes off my SSDs for longevity.

That said, I've recently changed my position a bit. I used to move both my browser caches and the windows temporary folders (via modifying the TMP and TEMP environment variables) to my ramdisk. I've decided to move the system files back to their normal locations. I've had it that way for months without any real repercussions besides the Troubleshooting issue I mentioned, but I thought of a circumstance in which it could cause real trouble: booting into safe mode. In Safe Mode the ramdisk and therefore the temp folders wouldn't exist at all, and any programs you ran in safe mode looking for the temp directories (as I imagine a lot of uninstall programs might, which is the primary reason I've seen to use safe mode) wouldn't find one. At best, it would pick another random location and leave bits of files lying around without any real means to find or clean them off, and worst case it could make whatever you're doing not work and possibly get corrupted. So, to play it safe, I'm moving them back. In the months that I used it I never really noticed those files getting very large anyway.

The browser caches are another story. There's still really no compelling reason I can think of to not put them on a ramdisk. Those temp directories can get pretty large pretty quickly (usually on the order of 200-500 megs per sessions, and that's even without deliberately playing videos or music), and it really does not matter if they persist between restarts, or if safe mode has them available.

Korth
11-16-2015, 06:21 PM
Browser caches are junk, there's no real reason to preserve them unless you have terribly slow internet (56K modem?) or you need to archive version-controlled copies from your history (like a web developer might). Windows is full of momentary junk which can happily be deleted.

If you've got enough RAM to sustain all your tasks and stuff full of cache garbage then RAMDisk is a superb solution. You may not even need to enable browser caching at all since webpages load into memory anyhow.